Philipp Lahm: Real Madrid the “team to beat” in Champions League

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Bayern Munich isn’t universally perceived as the favorites of capturing the Champions League crown this year, and even veteran Philipp Lahm sung the praises of La Liga side Real Madrid, despite the fact that he greatly desires a title for himself.

He believes they have put themselves in excellent position to compete once again, noting that they used their funds to supplement their team.

“The club has strengthened an already excellent team with a lot of money,” he said to Kicker.

“Real is certainly the team to beat. I want to win this trophy again. Whether with the squad we have this season or in the new three years, I want a shot at the title.”

New additions to Real this summer included World Cup star James Rodriquez, Toni Kroos and Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez. They lost Angel Di Maria and Xabi Alonso, though, and questions of whether this current team will mesh well together was questioned by media in Real’s disappointing 2-1 loss to Atletico Madrid.

But there is still plenty of time left in the season, and Los Blancos struggled against Atletico in 2013-14.

Last year, Real definitely showed their a very capable team when competing against other European teams. They trounced Bayern 5-0 on aggregate in the semifinals before advancing to the semifinal round. They then managed to win the Champions League title for the first time since 2002, beating Atletico Madrid, 4-1, in Lisbon.